The Presence of the Real: Jalarāmkathā and the Experience of the Transcendent

Wood, Martin ORCID: 0000-0002-9826-3452 (2022) The Presence of the Real: Jalarāmkathā and the Experience of the Transcendent. International Journal of Hindu Studies, 26. pp. 113-134. doi:10.1007/s11407-022-09309-y

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Rarely is the presence of the Gujaratisaint Jalarām Bāpā(1799–1881) felt more immediately, and indeed collectively, by his devotees in India and throughout the diaspora than when his narrative is recited during the Jalarāmkathā. This article examines the multiexperiential nature of the Jalarāmkathā as it unfolds through various transcendental mediums, all of which center on the kathākār, a publicteller of the narrative. It is framed by recent scholarly discussions regarding Robert A. Orsi’s suggestion that we need to go beyond the modern, liberal, Western historiographical paradigm and allow the real encounter with the gods to be brought back into scholarly conversation and analysis. In this respect, the article argues that kathā in general,and theJalarāmkathā in particular, not only provide the conditions for Orsi’s notion of “abundant event” to become manifest, whereby the presence of the transcendent is fully experienced by the devotees, but also shed further light upon the notions of “abundant space” and “abundant performance.”

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Jalarām Bāpā; Gujarati Hinduism; Hagiography; Kathā; Jalarāmkathā
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2022 12:22
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2023 12:10

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